By Doug Goldring on Wed, 05/26/2010
I am a huge fan of digital music. I love the sound quality on my Zune HD, not to mention enough storage to carry all of my music everywhere I go. This child of the vinyl music era is, frankly, amazed every time I scroll through the vast music library contained on that tiny device. Of course, with media players, holding all your music is not going to be enough. Not only does it need to hold your music, it needs to be able to play your music for your listening pleasure.
One of the things I love about the Zune HD is the fantastic audio processor it carries, which makes my music sound amazing. Unfortunately, this experience is often marred by substandard headphones, like those included in the Zune HD or iPhone package. These tiny plastic buds are pretty much the lowest common denominator in headphone technology, and for me, they typically end up in the trash without even coming out of the package. As such, I am constantly on the lookout for “the next best thing” in headphones.
I have been reviewing higher end headphones for several years, mostly over at www.justanothermobilemonday.com. One thing I have been striving to do for some time now, is take the next step into custom headphones. Custom headphones have always intrigued me. One of my biggest frustrations with headphones is the earbuds which never quite fit just right. With custom made headphones, the buds are molded specifically for your ear canal, so they are pretty much guaranteed to fit perfectly.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago, when I received an email from our friends over at JH Audio. One thing led to another, and they were kind enough to agree to send me a pair of their custom made JH-16 Pro headphones. These sport some incredibly impressive specs. In addition to, obviously, being custom made for my ears, here is what else you are going to find:
- precision balanced armatures
- double dual lows, single dual mid, and single dual high speakers
- integrated 3-way crossover
- noise isolation to –26 dB
- 10 Hz to 20kHz frequency response range
- 18 Ohms impedance
In other words, these are some serious headphones, and I cannot wait to check them out. Of course, you cannot just walk into a store and purchase custom headphones. There is a process, and we are going to walk through that process together. Here is a quick look at what you can expect over the coming weeks.
Tuesday, I am heading into the audiologist, who will make custom molds of my ears. I’ll check in here and let you all know how that process works. Then, I will need to send the molds to JH Audio so they can turn them into headphones.
While we are waiting for the headphones, I will be sitting down with the folks at JH Audio to bring you some background about the company and more detailed information about the process of making these headphones.
Hopefully, it will not take long for the headphones to arrive. JH Audio’s website promises only a short wait. Then, I will give you a good first look at the headphones. after that, I will start taking them through their paces, testing the comfort, fit, noise isolation and, of course, sounds quality.
Hopefully by the end of the series, we will have answered the question which has been burning in my mind: whether custom made headphones are really worth the extra expense, time, and process? Or whether the much cheaper, hut still high end headphones I normally use will cut the mustard. And who knows, maybe just for kicks and grins, I will compare them to the standard issue Apple earbuds that come with all of Apple’s devices.
Stay tuned, this should be a really wild and interesting ride. And a huge thanks to JH Audio for their cooperation and participation in agreeing to send me the JH-16 Pro headphones to check out.